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The Gentlemen's Sport and Social Club

1 rating: 5.0
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Joe Petterlebrings a love of classic fiction and storytelling toThe Gentlemen's Sport and Social Club. He is an avid reader, writer, student of western and eastern philosophy, ardent collector of all types of music, and author of nonfiction books and … see full wiki

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Publisher: Langdon Street Press
1 review about The Gentlemen's Sport and Social Club

Romance at any Age

  • Dec 5, 2011
  • by
The Gentlemen's Sport and Social Club
Author: Joe Petterle
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

A man's final moments- a love gone by- 78 years old and isolated in the mountains, John awaits the woman who changed his life and direction 16 years ago. Reliving the moments, his feelings and their time together before the onset of the pain, John realizes his time is drawing her. This is the story of John and Evangeline.

Corporations expect their employees to adhere to their mission statement, do what they deem politically correct or find yourself somewhere else to work and survive. Platitudes spoken, handshakes and final hugs bestowed upon him, as he enters a new phase of his life called retirement. One last time his secretary brings him coffee, one last trip down the hall to his office and one last time he exits the building hopefully starting on a new journey in life. John recounts his last hours at work, leaving, the relief he felt as he starts his unexpected new life.

A cabin in the mountains would be his new home. Peaceful, lacking too much contact with others and yet the scenery is both serene and magnificent. The proximity of each house is such that coming in contact with his neighbors would be rare. Going into town for provisions would be one of the only times he might encounter another person or even see a car on the road.

A chance encounter during a walk in the woods would change everything. Walking along the tree lined driveway to the paved surface of the road a figure appears out of nowhere. Did you ever meet someone and instantly connect? Did you ever meet someone and think that you knew everything about that person at first glance? Would you celebrate the first snow? Do you think it's beautiful? This is what happens when John and Evangeline meet.

As they start walking together John begins to see the scenery in a whole in light. Their conversation is easy, understanding each other and getting along as if they knew each other for years. But, as fast as she arrives she leaves not to return for another week. What would make Thursday's their only day together? Why would she only show up for a short time on that day? Why did he have to wait a whole week to see her? What was her secret and where was she the rest of the week? This all remains to be seen.

Pondering his thoughts and revisiting the entire encounter in his mind, replaying the conversations he begins to think she might have been a mirage or not real. Then, oddly enough he rationalizes her absence for a week and creates reasons for her not being there. Did he make her up? Is he deranged? Then, it's Thursday and she is there at the same time and place he met her before. What she does she claims when asked about herself is magical, a mystery and a wonder. Stating she is blessed but not explaining what that means in any detail. Nothing she does is normal according to Evangeline. Many of us would look at a maple leaf and see just a leaf. Her description of the leaf stating it is perfect is profound. She defines neither life as love, beauty and truth stating that these words and their meaning do not define what you really see in a mirror nor you life gone by or in the past. Your true self is your NOW! Ever concern yourself with your age; it is just a number it is not who you are now. Before she can continue her thoughts she leaves once again to return he hopes the following Thursday.

Self- doubt is something many people have and live with. The fear of the unknown and unexpected can often hamper your actions and hinder achieving your goals. After meeting Evangeline John seems more appreciative of life, less tense and sees things many situations in a more positive light. Thursday at 9:30 in the morning became his center. Learning to understand how to see the world looking past his primary five senses and searching for other qualities to enhance his perception and comprehension of truth, beauty and love became his mission. Are we really limited to seeing the world through our five senses or is there more?

When Evangeline finally broadens his scope of sight into the world she also explains what is behind he life and the Gentlemen's Sports and Social Club. Here is where many red flags and alerts begin to flash in John's mind. An application for membership that reminds me of one for a life insurance policy including a complete medical history. Questions too personal for a mere social club. Requirements so odd most people would think twice before considering. As John becomes more embroiled in Evangeline's way of thinking he completes the application, the unusual final orientation and then finds out something about her true self that once again tests the meaning of the word Trust for both of them. Who is she really? What kind of past does she have and what is she hiding? What he does and how he finds out would raise question marks in most people's minds. Blinded by his hope for them he forges ahead, pays her an unexpected visit and what he learns would alter both of their lives forever.

What is this unique club? Would you join a club based on happiness? As you being to understand the true meaning of this unusual and exclusive club the author along with Evangeline allows the reader to reassess and enter a new world of to look at life, your purpose and your inner goals. Both John learns many lessons and Evangeline changing both of their philosophies regarding how they perceive love, trust and beauty.

As the pieces of the John's life come full circle and John along with the reader asks " Is happiness settling for what one has or is it finding what one has settled for?" A simple yet complicated story that raises many questions in the reader's mind. What parts of this story are real? What do you think are created by John in his own mind hoping to find some joy in his life during his retirement? What is his final fate and just what kind of club is this and why would he consider being a part of it?

Take the journey along with John, Evangeline and the elite members of this club and find out for yourself. Is life really just a game and we are the pieces on the board, the dominoes hoping not to fall down or the wrestlers trying to defeat our opponents? Is life a perfect storm? As you read pages 196-199 you will hear Evangeline's thoughts, inner voice and philosophy, her definition of life and how she relates everything to God. Is lie a simple as giving to others and being concerned about their happiness and needs not just your own? There are many lessons learned from reading this book. Selflessness, understanding for others, putting the needs of many before your own, happiness, trust, love and much more. This is the story of two people who find each other at the crossroads of their lives. John needed to find happiness in his retirement and Evangeline needed to find someone to accept her for all that she is. A story that will make you questions your existence, your goals and teach you to look deeper into your own heart. This is one club whose members learn more than how to deal with life but the true meaning of it. Enter the Gentlemen Sports and Social Club and decide if you want to join.

This book enlightens the reader to the philosophies of two people. Their intertwining and coming together, meeting and encounters no matter how brief, change both of their outlooks or their predetermined, prefixed ideas of what life should be. Remember: John is a Philosopher by profession and much of what he relates to Evangeline comes from his experience in the field. This is really a quite unique and different book with a special message and story. A change encounter can change so much.

This is really quite different from most books that I have reviewed but it is quite interesting and you too will fall in love with their story and of course with John and Evangeline. Will they wind up together or will something else happen that will draw them together in a different way? Read this book and decide for yourself whether you need to change your own mindset.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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